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Mandatory ROTC beneficial to gov’t, youth: Army

REITERATING ITS support for the mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) for senior high school students, the Philippine Army’s 3rd Infantry (Spearhead) Division on Monday said the program will be to the advantage of the government.

The public can be assured that the military training in the ROTC program will be acquired by government allies, Capt. Cenon Pancito, 3rd Division Public Affairs Office (DPAO) chief said.

“The ROTC might be used against the government but we want to emphasize the program is being undertaken by no less than our troops,” he said in an interview here.

Pancito said other organizations, which will try to penetrate the training is part of the “vulnerabilities” of the ROTC program.

“If there are efforts from other organizations, most especially from the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army), it is part of the vulnerabilities but the government is still on the advantage position with the Armed Forces of the Philippines being the implementer itself,” he said.

He reiterated that the program will prepare the government and the armed forces in times of emergency and crisis.

This, as products of the ROTC could be mobilized any time when needed.

Pancito further assured the “hazing and maltreatment” will not happen under the ROTC program.

“It’s very sad that hazing and maltreatment in the ROTC have been proven. However, it is just part of the picture. ROTC can do more good than harm,” he said.

To prevent hazing and maltreatment from happening again, he said there should be a more active implementation of laws within the program.

“We will work hard to prevent this from happening again. We will have all the people who will look over the program to really be serious about what they are doing or to implement additional steps to prevent hazing and maltreatment,” he said.

He called on senior high school students to undertake the ROTC because “at the end of the day, they will appreciate its benefits.”

House Bill 8961 seeks to amend Republic Act 7077 or the Citizen Armed Forces of the Philippines Reservist Act.

Under the proposed measure, ROTC training would apply to “all students in Grades 11 and 12 in all senior high schools in public and private educational institutions.”(By Gail Momblan)

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